WABASH VALLEY, Ind. (WTHI) – February 11th marks National 211 Day, though not many people know what that is.
Social Service agencies across the nation use today’s date to remind people that there’s a number besides 911 they can call for help: 211.
Everyone knows you are supposed to call 911 in case of emergencies, but what if it’s not an emergency and you still need some help? That’s where 211 comes in. United Way of the Wabash Valley’s Executive Director Richard Payonk says they’re trying to spread the word on what this service can provide.
If you need housing, food, transportation, or healthcare help, you can dial 211. If you need housing, food, transportation, or healthcare help, you can dial 211.
211 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. When your call is answered, you’ll get hooked up with what’s called a navigator. A navigator is a live person that will have access to a database that offers all available social service help for where you live.
Payonk says the service is not just available in the Wabash Valley, but all across the country. “If we combine and collaborate with lots of agencies, organizations, business, and government, we can do a whole lot more,” Payonk said, “211 is just a great example of being able to have a database that represents everyone and gets the people the services they need.”
Payonk says not many people are aware of 211’s services and how helpful it is in the Wabash Valley. The United Way of the Wabash Valley serves six counties. They are Clay, Parke, Vigo, Vermillion, and Sullivan Counties in Indiana and Clark County in Illinois.
Payonk says that between those six counties, 211 receives over 4,000 phone calls a year. He stressed the service also helps the United way know what the people of the Wabash Valley need.
“It’s also helpful in our community because those reports tell us where the needs are,” Payonk added, “We’re able to share that with other service organizations in the area showing this is what people are calling in to get service for. It’s not just helping the clients, it’s helping us better understand the needs of the community.”
Payonk concluded by saying that 80% of the people who call 211 for help get hooked up with the social service that they need.